What to Expect

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We require everyone to make appointments for all acupuncture visits.

NEW clients please read our welcome document before coming in for your initial visit.

Please fill out our initial visit forms online before your 1st appointment with us.
The forms can be accessed through this link. Para llenar formularios en español haga clic aquí.
(Please be aware that the forms need to be filled out in one session, there is no way to save partially filled forms.)
If you are not able to fill out the forms online, please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment time to fill them out at the clinic.

If possible, please prepay for your session with your credit card online using this link before arriving at the clinic.

Leave time for parking when coming to the clinic! Here are some tips for navigating our parking lot.

During your first visit, the acupuncturist on duty will briefly meet with you before your treatment to discuss your concerns. The acupuncturist may take your pulses, ask some questions, recommend a treatment plan and give you a brief clinic orientation.

The acupuncture treatment will take place in our community room. The treatment space is a quiet area – please talk sparingly and always in a whisper to avoid disturbing others. You can choose any available recliner or table, but please check with the acupuncturist before you select the last available table. Your treatment length is at most 60 minutes from the time the needles are set. Your practitioner will keep track of time and come over to remove your needles and end the session after 60 minutes have elapsed.

If you need attention during your treatment, or feel ready to have your needles removed, please wave, nod, or make eye contact to get the acupuncturist’s attention.

During your follow-up visits, you will check in at the front desk and then head straight into our treatment space, settle into your recliner and prepare for your session. The acupuncturist will meet you there and check on your progress, ask relevant questions, insert your needles and leave you to rest.

How often should I receive acupuncture?

Acupuncture works best if you receive it frequently and often enough to result in progressive improvement in your health. On your first visit, the acupuncturist will recommend a treatment frequency for your condition. All of our acupuncturists work together as a team, so we recommend that you book your treatments to best suit your schedule.

Below are some basic guidelines that apply to most conditions:

If your problem is new: for example, a recently pulled muscle– then you will experience the best benefit from multiple visits in a short period of time—two or three treatments in a week for one or two weeks. By this time, your problem should be much better, and you can check in with the practitioner on duty about adjusting your treatment plan.

If you have a long-term problem: it is usually best to start with frequent treatments (usually twice a week) for a period of time and then gradually decrease the frequency of treatments as your condition improves.

If you are seeking relief from uncontrollable events: then it is best to think of acupuncture as a tool for health maintenance. While acupuncture cannot change the fact that your life or job causes you stress, or that you sat next to someone with the flu on the bus, it can help you relieve stress and strengthen your body’s natural resistance. During those times, come in once or twice a week, or as often as you need to alleviate the symptoms.

We believe that acupuncture works best when you receive frequent and regular treatments.

Private v. Community – What’s the Difference?

In private settings, the practitioner will typically spend 30-45 minutes on an intake, assessment and consultation. The client is then treated in a private room, usually on a massage table. Sometimes there may be needles inserted both on the front and the back of the body. The private acupuncturist may provide additional therapies, such as cupping, massage, and moxibustion, and may recommend lifestyle changes.  Because of the extensive intake time, the time allowed for resting with needles is often limited to about 30 minutes.

Our community acupuncture clinic is set up similarly to acupuncture clinics in many Asian countries. Because we have a high-volume clinic, we get a lot of practice giving a wide variety of treatments every single day. We are very skilled in making a quick and efficient assessment and providing an effective personalized treatment. We specifically study acupuncture methods well-suited for delivering results in a community setting in order to offer skilled care at affordable rates to more people. However, we are usually not able to offer any one client extra consultation time or additional modalities, except for occasional herbal remedy prescription.

We encourage our clients to take a deep rest during their acupuncture sessions and to allow up to 1 hour of needle retention time. Many of our clients report significant benefits from being allowed to relax longer with their needles.

For those who prefer more privacy and more “talking time” along with their acupuncture, there are many excellent practitioners in the Bay Area offering private treatments.